Dental Emergencies


Begin by cleaning the sore tooth meticulously.  Using warm salt water, rinse the mouth to displace any food trapped between teeth.  Under no circumstances should you use aspirin on the aching teeth or gum.  In the event of facial swelling, apply a cold compress to the area.  For temporary pain relief- over-the-counter children's tylenol or motrin is recommended.  See a dentist as soon as possible.

Cut or Bitten lip, cheek or gum

Ice can be applied to any bruised areas.  For bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth.  If bleeding does not stop with pressure or continues after 15 minutes, seek medical attention.

Broken Braces and Wires

Remove a broken appliance only if it comes out easily.  If it is lodges or painful to remove, cover any protruding edges with wax, cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum.  DO NOT REMOVE any wire caught in the gums cheek or tongue, see your orthodontist/dentist immediately.  Emergency attention is usually not required for loose or broken appliances that cause no discomfort.

Broken Tooth

Use warm water to rinse any dirt from the area.  Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury.  Recover and save any broken tooth fragments.  Seek dental attention.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown end(top) and not the root.  Rinse, but do not handle the tooth more than necessary.  Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of cloth or gauze.  If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water.  Because time is essential, see a dentist immediately.

Other Emergency Conditions:

Possible broken jaw:  In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or hankerchief.  Go immediately to an emergency room.

Bleeding after a baby tooth falls out:  Fold a piece of gauze and place it (tightly) over the bleeding area.  Bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes; if bleeding continues, see a dentist.

Cold or Canker sores: It is not uncommon to suffer from a cold or canker sore.  Over-the-counter medications will usually provide temporary relief.  If sores persist, see the dentist.